Supreme Court Refuses to Enforce Class Action Lawsuit Bans Contained in Consumer Service Agreements

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Breaking Developments In Business Law

The Washington Supreme Court recently decided two extremely important consumer rights cases -- Scott v. Cingular Wireless Corp. and Dix v. ICT Group, Inc. In these two cases, the Court considered whether prohibitions against class actions in consumer service agreements were enforceable. In one case, the Supreme Court examined a mandatory arbitration agreement that contained a provision prohibiting class action lawsuits. In the second case, the Supreme Court examined a provision that provided for dispute resolution in a state, other than Washington, which does not allow class actions for claims like the ones asserted by the consumer plaintiffs. The result was two rulings that reject class action bans in agreements with

consumers that would have, in the view of the Court, prevented consumers from pursuing their substantive rights under the Washington Consumer Protection Act.

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